Dealing With The Past – Part I: Physical Factors

After an injury, some people receive excellent care from their doctors and therapists and are told that they are fully "healed"...yet they still experience pain and difficulties with their activities. One of the reasons for this (and something that is commonly overlooked by healthcare providers) is the formation of scar tissue in the body.

The healed skin we see at the site of injury is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath is a vast network of tissues that are stuck together because of improper healing - resulting in symptoms of stiffness, itchiness and pain. These adhesions and scar tissues can prevent the body from working properly and prevent proper recovery.

Figure 1 – Excess scar tissue can restrict normal movement of tissue and constrain nerves and blood vessels

Fortunately scar tissues can, to a certain extent, be remodeled. We have found manual therapies are quite effective in treating scar tissues and adhesions and we've seen people with very old scars (as old as 40 years) improve in pain, itching, stiffness, colour, temperature, etc. Moreover, clinicians can teach clients how to perform some therapies at home to speed up tissue remodeling.

Dr. Trung Ngo founded Novah Healthcare in 2017, an interdisciplinary clinic that specializes in the conservative management of acute and chronic pain. His Novah clinic will continue the work he did from 2011 to 2017 at Mount Sinai Hospital, where he led an interdisciplinary team in assessing and treating complex, chronic, non-cancer pain. His Mount Sinai team helped patients decrease their pain, improve their daily and vocational functioning and reduce or eliminate their intake of pain medications (including opioids). Dr. Ngo graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and subsequently pursued a residency program at Hamilton General Hospital in which he furthered his training in orthopaedics and pain management.

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